The annual Industrial Report, published by the Pentagon’s Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, found that the munitions sector industrial base is strained.
The primary concern lies with sub-tier contractors, many of which are single and sole source suppliers for U.S. weapons manufacturers. These suppliers provide parts like thermal batteries, SRM’s (solid state motors), fuses, jet engines, inertial measurement units (IMUs), GPS receivers, seekers, and warheads to companies like Lockheed and Raytheon.
Pentagon officials are wondering if these smaller suppliers have what it takes to keep up with demand at a time when the U.S. is expending munitions at an increasingly high rate says Aaron Mehta of Defense News.
The Pentagon plans to invest more than $20 billion in munitions in its next budget. But whether the industrial base will be there to support such massive buys in the future is up in the air — at a time when America is expending munitions at increasingly intense rates.
The annual Industrial Capabilities report, put out by the Pentagon’s Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, has concluded that the industrial base of the munitions sector is particularly strained, something the report blames on the start-and-stop nature of munitions procurement over the last 20 years, as well as the lack of new designs being internally developed.
Some suppliers have dropped out entirely, leaving no option for replacing vital materials. Other key suppliers are foreign-owned, with no indigenous capability to produce vital parts and materials ― setting up the risk that a conflict with China could rely on Chinese-made parts.
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